Seminar : African Youth for Peaceful Africa
15 November 2016
Mr. Souleymane Satigui Sidibé, Secretary General of the Pan-African Youth Union (PYU), attended a seminar at the National School of Business and Management in Kénitra, hosted by the African Institute for Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation (AIPECT), in partnership with Ibn Tofail University. The theme was ” African Youth for Peaceful Africa”.
Mohammed Ahmed Gain, a professor at Ibn Tofail University said, “This seminar comes to follow the trends depicted by the Kingdom of Morocco as part of its opening to its African family and to engage and involve Young Moroccans in the shaping of an integrated vision of pathways for our work after Morocco’s decision to regain its place in the African Union.”
Gain added, “Universities must play an active role, the same way civil society does, through the creation of discussion forums and exchange platforms between young Africans with the goal of promoting horizontal partnerships to serve the causes of Africa.”
To this end, Gain proposed that the African States develop a strategic vision for making young Africans the center of concern in all institutions by integrating them into decision-making processes, and planning public policies with youth in mind.
Souleymane Satigui Sidibé, Secretary General of the Pan-African Youth Union, focused his talk on the roles that UPJ plays within the African Union as a specialized agency in the field of youth. He stressed that, “this seminar comes first as an initial platform and as a first step reflecting on possible cooperation between our organization and the rest of the stakeholders and actors involved with youth issues in Morocco.”
Mr. Sidibé also outlined some of the major challenges facing young people in Africa. He encouraged African governments to increase the representation of young people in institutions as well as mechanisms for conflict prevention and resolution, and the fight against violent extremism.
Mr Sidibé has praised Morocco’s role in Africa, “which will certainly be reinforced by its return to the African Union, something certainly welcomed by the majority of countries on the continent.”
Another speaker was Mr. Cissé Seko, representative of the Malian Youth Council. Seko presented the challenges faced by young people in Africa and highlighted ways to integrate these young people into development approaches that take aim at renouncing conflicts and all forms of violent extremism. He also devoted part of his speech to discuss the role played by Morocco in Mali through the training of the young Imams and preachers, and the rooting of Islamic values in young Malians.
The seminar also featured several comments from young students of different African nationalities who expressed their concerns and aspirations, and interacted with the speakers through their questions and comments.
The Panafrican Youth Union is recognized by the African Union as the representative body of national youth organizations and youth-led networks of 54 member states of the Union African countries.
It also maintains partnerships with like-minded regional, continental, and international organizations promotion the rights of young people and implementing the African Youth Charter and other continental tools.